Beauty – Looking vs. Eating


I read this post on Caterina Flake’s blog. I thought it was worth a repost. I love the concept of looking vs. eating. I believe we live in a culture that is consistently eating rather than appreciating.

“Beauty is the only finality here below. As Kant said very aptly, it is a finality which involves no objective. A beautiful thing involves no good except itself, in its totality, as it appears to us. We are drawn toward it without knowing what to ask of it. It offers its own existence. We do not desire something else, we possess it, and yet we still desire something. We do not know in the least what it is. We want to get behind beauty, but it is only a surface. It is like a mirror that sends us back our own desire for goodness. It is a sphinx, an enigma, a mystery which is painfully tantalizing. We should like to feed upon it, but it is only something to look at; it appears only from a certain distance.
The great trouble in human life is that looking and eating are two different operations. Only beyond the sky, in the country inhabited by God, are they one and the same operation. … It may be that vice, depravity and crime are nearly always … in their essence, attempts to eat beauty, to eat what we should only look at.”

–Simone Weil

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